As much as some might think the NBA is a largely American sport in terms of the nationality of its players, it’s well and truly a global league, with players from China, Australia and Lithuania (among other countries) having come to North America and not only played there, but succeeded. The home of the only non-American team in the league is quickly becoming no exception to this, as more and more Canadians have been drafted into the NBA in recent years. With that in mind, we’ll be counting down the top 10 Canadian players in the league based on their salary for the 2014-15 season.
If nothing else, this new wave of Canadian ballers is proof that the game in Canada is growing more now than ever. If you need further convincing, you only have to take a look back on the massive throng of fans that descended on Maple Leaf Square in Toronto – a.k.a. Jurassic Park – to watch the Toronto Raptors take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first round of last season’s playoffs. Not only that, but the slogan of “We the North” caught on like wildfire among diehard and casual Raptors fans alike. In fact, Canada is starting to produce quality basketball players (Tyler Ennis and Dwight Powell are among those, but are excluded because their contract figures have not yet been released or have not been signed) at such a high rate to the extent that the Cleveland Cavaliers for a period of time had four of them on their team.
While some of these players are bit-part bench players at best for their teams, others are young up-and-comers who have the potential to make a huge impact on the league, and another is a seasoned veteran who’s one of the best point guards of his generation – if not of all time. Canada’s presence in the NBA is growing, and will only keep doing so. Here are the 10 highest-paid Canadian ballers in the NBA.
10 Andrew Nicholson -- $1.5 million in 2014/15
9 Kelly Olynyk -- $2.1 million in 2014/15
8 Cory Joseph -- $2.1 million in 2014/15
7 Nik Stauskas -- $2.7 million in 2014/15
6 Joel Anthony -- $3.8 million in 2014/15
5 Samuel Dalembert -- $3.9 million in 2014/15
4 Tristan Thompson -- $5.4 million in 2014/15
3 Andrew Wiggins -- $5.5 million in 2014/15
2 Anthony Bennett -- $5.6 million in 2014/15
1 Steve Nash -- $9.7 million in 2014/15
What is there to say about Steve Nash that hasn’t already been said about him throughout his career? Not only has he been an eight-time NBA All-Star, but he’s been an NBA MVP twice, a three-time All-NBA first-teamer, and he’s been named to the Order of Canada. All that’s left for the Victoria native to accomplish is to win an NBA title. However, he’ll be 41 by the time the 2014-15 NBA season is finished, so time is clearly running out. But whether he wins one or not, Nash - who makes $9.7 million this season – will go down in history as the greatest Canuck to ever don a jersey in this league.
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